When I’m not looking up, I fall down

“Am I good enough?” Have you ever asked yourself that? “Will I measure up? Can I ever do what is expected of me, or will I disappoint all of us? Oh, and how will I ever live with myself again if I do?!”

I have asked myself those questions. I wish I could say all of these “self-doubts” were just a distant memory, but they’re not. When I feel like it really counts, that I really want to do well, than I remember all the right wrong thoughts to keep me worried so much that I lose my focus.

I want to be the best person I can be, but what does that look like, and at what cost must it be achieved? I am ashamed that I am still so much of my own glory-hound. I want to feel good only by looking good. And I will pay most costs that are put in front of me.

I will worry; I will think more about myself than I typically do; I will get anxious and irritable, even snapping at my family; I will insist on having my way and see no other way to enjoy myself now unless I can guarantee that later I shall be a success in all eyes including my own.

Certain peoples eyes are more difficult to light up than others, and those are often the ones that are more important to me. But they don’t always have to be. Sometimes I worry the most about eyes that light up pretty regularly. I ask myself, “What if they feel like I’ve changed; what if how I acted in a certain situation is remembered with disapproval to the same degree that I recall the embarrassment.

Okay, so my pride is really blowing up here — I hate disappointment. I feel like I can handle anything of this kind from other people, but not from myself. The disappointment I cause myself — which is always ratcheted up by fears that I have permanently lost the respect that I covet so much from others — is one of the most difficult things for me to handle.

In fact, I fear I don’t handle them at all really. If I did, I would get to the root of this disturbance of the heart and give it to God just as well as I could. If the symptoms were persistent still, then I would keep digging, realizing that this was not a small thing that God was laying on my conscience — He wants a big contribution of repentance for an equally large sum of sin.

This realization doesn’t scare me much any more, it is the fact that I still go so long without it. I think I can handle my heart on my own; that all I need is to get my own way and I’ll be fine. Won’t I get it? That is not the way — things are not as simple as being able to believe everything my lying flesh tells me!

I need to face this arbitrary nonsense and turn from listening to it to heeding something stronger, something more vital to my existence. Something I can only call the Word of God and the constant affirmation of His Holy Spirit. I can go on in this life alone! All I’m good at in the natural (being under my own power) is going in circles because Christ is the only One who is capable of moving my stagnant, sinning self forward.

Forward into more of a view of grace, more of an experience of His glory, more of a dependence on His mercy. God is what I need to be assured of, and the rest of life can be what it will be. And I can live with whatever that is — I just need to remind myself to stand on the truth of who God is and not the fickle framework of who I am — which will always be a dangerous lie without Christ at the head.

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